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Estonia planning to use biometric data instead of PIN codes for ID cards

A work group created by the Ministry of Interior is discussing how to use biometric data for identification in the future. One of the ideas proposed is starting to use fingerprints instead of PIN codes when logging in to services using an ID card.

To make this happen, an automatic system of biometric identification should be created that would allow comparisons of biometric data. All the other systems, in turn, could use this data for identification purposes, reports.

Other plans include using third parties for issuing documents, including e-Residency cards and using self-service kiosks that are able to issue documents based on biometric data. The biometric data could also have other uses, such as in case of a sudden illness to identifying people who have been hospitalised but do not have documents on them. In addition, the database of biometric data could be used to make it easier for the police to solve crimes using fingerprints – including other uses, comparisons with data in international biometric databases could be made and an early warning system set up to help the police find out when, for example, suspects of crimes are using the services.

It is also being discussed how to use biometric date in cooperation with the private sector. One of the  principles should, according to the work group be, not to let the private sector companies to create biometric databases themselves but instead to compare data against the data in the state’s biometric database, receiving yes/no type responses.

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